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The Friend : a religious and literary journal (Volume 16) online

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does not exert himself to the utmost, by his
personal influence and example, by his talents



so far as he has talents, and his wealth, if he
has wealth, — and always, in our government,
by his voice and vote, — In favour of all refor-
matory measures, is so far guilty, and so far
answerable for the consequences which the
present condition and usages of society inflict
upon the young. The children who come into
the world are far better than the world into
which they come; and while this continues to
be the case, the foul image and superscription
of the world will be stamped upon their spi-
rits, unless, as is the case of this beautiful
child, they are saved from the moral calamity
of vicious example, by the physical calamity
of extinguished senses.

" Often, when reflecting upon this unparal-
leled case of Laura Bridgman, or when wit-
nessing the mode in which she is trained by
Dr. Howe, — a mode in which philosophy is
animated by affection, and atTection guided
by philosophy, — often have I pondered upon
the different motives by which parents are
actuated in the treatment of their offspring,
and the various fortunes which have been
the lot of children, as the direct conse-
quence of parental wisdom or folly. At
such times, the account of Abraham making
all things ready for the sacrifice of his son,
rises to the view ; or the thrilling story of the
Roman Virginius, who, to save his daughter
from the polluting touch of a tyrant, plunged,
with his own hand, a dagger into her heart.
jMusing upon scenes like these, with the idea
of this little child in the mind, a vision has
arisen before our eyes, — a vision of that pow-
er which we personify as nature, and which
we call by the endearing name of mother. We
have seemed to see the majestic form of na-
ture, as a living and visible mother, standing
serene, yet awful, over the cradle of this un-
conscious infant, — then scarcely two years of
age, — and looking as if entranced and lost in
the contemplation of some sublime purpose for
its salvation from the errors of the world. At
that most interesting period of life, when
others are so prone to think only of the pleas-
ures of childhood and youth, this loving parent
gazes upon the sweet face of her child, and
thinks only of the thick dangers that lie in
ambush along its path, as it enters a degener-
ate world. Severe, yet radiant with love, she
watches it, till, in a moment of lofty and holy
passion, she exclaims, ' Thee will I save from
the follies and vanities that invade the soul,
through the eye ; thee will I save from the
contaminations that pour their sweet poison
into the heart, through the ear; those yet
unstained and guileless lips, I will save from
the utterance of anger, and inhumanity, and
irreverance, for it is better that they should
have no power to praise their Maker, than
that they should learn to curse his offspring;
thee will! save from the debasements of appe-
tite, by which so many millions are degraded
below the brutes;' and adapting the action to
the word, she sears the eye-balls of the lovely
child, as with a red-hot iron; she closes the
portals of her ears in eternal silence, and puts
an everlasting seal upon her yet innocent lips.
At once, to this child's soul, the universe of
light and beauty became colourless and blank ;
morning and evening were no more ; all voices



were forever hushed in silence ; from spicy
groves, from the meadows and the garden, all
perfume and delicious odor vanished; from all
viands and beverages, though rich and volup-
tuous as those which grace the banquet halls
of princes, all flavours were exhaled and lost.
She was alone, — alone, in a more significant
sense than ever the captive was alone in his
dungeon, or the shipwrecked mariner in the '
solitudes of the ocean. Her entombed spirit
sought for egress; but on every side it met,
as it were, with the ' cold obstruction' of
death. Thus did it lie for years. None but
the Omniscient could know the history of that
soul, or read the records of its lonely con-
sciousness. But during the six yenrs that she
remained in this condition, her mind was not
wholly inactive. There w-as a single avenue,
the sense of touch, — the narrowest and strait-
est of all the avenues to thought, — which had
not been barred up against all approach of
external things. Through this avenue a few
gleams of light, reflected thilherward by
chance, and with long intervals between their
coming, reached her spirit in prison, from the
world of radiance and beauty and activity
without. 'I'hese were enough to quicken the
germs of thought that nature had implanted
there. These were enough to apprize her that
there were living objects around her, and on
these objects her .spontaneous affections fast-
ened. Through this scarcely visible aperture
in the otherwise impenetrable walls that sur-
rounded her, the tendrils of affection found a
passage, and entwined themselves around
every object which they touched. Think of
the spirit of this child, lying for six long years
at the gate of the only entrance, through
which any semblance of external objects, or
any elements of thought, could find access to
it from abroad. Watching and waiting nt
that gate, how intensely must it have longed,
yearned, gasped, for the approach of some
new messenger from the world without. How
must the scantiest tidings of what was going
on around her, and which, by chance or acci-
dent, reached the place of her captivity, have
been welcomed, treasured, doted upon, exam-
ined and re-examined, thousands and ten thou-
sands of times.

" But as yet, no one knew how to prepare
any mental aliment, and carry and lay it down
at the door of her cell, in such a way that she
could receive it, and appropriate it for the ,
consolation of her solitude, or the cherishing
and strengthening of her inward life. That
was a work which required benevolence, as '
well as philosophy. It required a knowledge
of the various faculties of the human mind,
the related objects of those faculties, and the ]
manner in which the latter should be brought
under the notice of the former. A man might
have been able to scale the heavens, or to
explore the recesses of the earth, by the aid of
science, and yet not have been able to carry
one particle of knowledge to this child, in such
a way that she could receive it. A man
might have been able to excel all the master-
pieces of the elegant arts; or to eclipse the
greatest geniuses in poetry or in eloquence, ,
and yet not have been able to transfer one
picture to the gloomy chambers of her souL






THE FRIEND.



283



Such an achievement, we repeat it, required
benevolence, as well as knowledge and intel-
lect. All these requisites for the work met in
the person of the Director of the Blind Insti-
tution ; and how insignificant and worthless is
the glory won by all the inventors of all the
tictioiis ever written, compared with the worth
of this one, true, actual, living creation of hap-
piness.

"It is not with despair, but only with im-
patience, that we ask, — When will the time
come, in which the renovated condition of
society, and a perfecting of the art of educa-
tion will cease to make it a blessing to a child
to be deprived of those senses with which it
holds communication with the world? Not
with despair, but only with impatience, do we
ask this question, for, though late and long-
delayed, we believe that time will assuredly
come."

Metal Forging and Cutting Machine.
Although, at the lale meeting of the British
Association in Manchester, there were many
very interesting specimens of mechanism ex-
hibited, there was, nevertheless, one, in par-
ticular, which threw all others completely
into the shade, when considered either as to
the novelty of the invention, or its evident
practical applicability to the every-day con-
cerns of life, and may with truth be said to
have been " the lion of the exhibition," viz.,
a machine for the working or forging of iron,
steel, &c. This truly surprising machine is
quite portable, occupying only a space of
three feet by four feet, and cannot be deemed
other, even by the most critical judges, than
one as purely original in principle, as well as
practical in its application, as much so, per-
haps, as was the splendid invention of the
fluted roller of Arkwright, by which the art
and perfection of drawing the fibrous sub-
stances became known, or that still more
splendid discovery of Watt, the condensing of
steam in a separate vessel, by which the pow-
er of the steam-engine of that day may be said
to have been doubled. But now for some
explanation of the machine, and its probable
general application. It is then, as has before
been said, very portable, not requiring more
space than from three to four feet, and may
be worked by steam or water power, and when
moved by the former, as was the case at the
exhibition, made 650 blows, or impressions,
per minute ; but from their very quick suc-
cession, and the work being effected by an
eccentric pressing down, not striking, the
hammer, or swage, not the least noise was
heard. There are five or six sets of what may
be called anvils and swages in the machine,
each varying in size. The speed and correct-
ness with which the machine completes its
work is perfectly astonishing, and must be
seen in order that its capabilities in this
respect may be duly appreciated ; for in-
stance, when it was put into motion for the
purpose of producing what is known as a
roller, with a coupling square upon it, (and
which had to be afterward turned and fluted,)
the thing was accomplished in fifty seconds !
of course at one heat, to the astonishment of



the bystanders. But what appeared as the
most extraordinary part of the affair was, that
the coupling square was produced direct from
the machine, so mathematically correct, that
no labour can make it more so ! The machine
will perform the labour of three men, and their
assistants, or strikers, and not only so, but
complete its work in a vastly superior manner
to that executed by manual labour. For en-
gineers, machine-makers, srniths in general,
file-makers, bolt and screw-makers, or for any
description of work parallel or taper, it is
most specially adapted ; and for what is tech-
nically known as reducing, it cannot possibly
lave a successful competitor — in proof of
vhich it may be stated, that a piece of round
ron, li inch in diameter, was reduced to a
quare of f in., 2 ft. 5 in. long, at one heat.
The merit of this invention belongs, it is said,
to a gentleman at Bolton, of the name of Ry-
der. — Leeds Merc. — Lond. Mecli. Mag.



For " The Friend."

District and Coast of Finisterre.

The author of the work, the Bible in
Spain, from which was taken the extract in
the last number of" The Friend," relating to
Cape Finisterre, in the course of his peregri-
nations through the Peninsula, visits ihe dis-
trict which gives name to the Cape, his gra-
phical description of the wild scenery of which,
forms a suitable counterpart to the former.

It was a beautiful autumnal morning when
we left the choza and pursued our way to
Corcuvion. I satisfied our host by presenting
him with a couple of pesetas, and he re-
quested, as a favour, that if, in our return, we
passed that way, and were overtaken by the
night, we would again take up our abode be-
neath his roof. This I promised, at the same
time determining to do my best to guard
against the contingency ; as sleeping in the
loft of a Galegan hut, though preferable to
passing the night on a moor or mountain, is
any thing but desirable.

So we again started at a rapid pace along
rough bridle-ways and foot-paths, amidst
furze and brushwood. In about an hour we
obtained a view of the sea, and directed by a
lad, whom we found on the moor employed in
tending a few miserable sheep, we bent our
course to the north-west, and at length reach-
ed the brow of an eminence, where we stopped
for some time to survey the prospect which
opened before us.

It was not without reason that the Latins
gave the name of Finisterre to this district.
We had arrived exactly at such a place as in
my boyhood I had pictured to myself as the
termination of the world, beyond which there
was a wild sea, or abyss, or chaos. I now saw
far before me an immense ocean, and below
me a long and irregular line of lofty and pre-
cipitous coast. Certainly in the whole world
there is no bolder coast than the Gallegan
shore, from the debouchement of the Minho to
Cape Finisterra. It consists of a granite wall
of savage mountains, for the most part ser-
rated at the top, and occasionally broken,
where bays and firths intervene, running deep



into the land. These bays and firths are in-
variably of an immense depth, and sufficiently
capacious to shelter the navies of the proudest
maritime nations.

There is an air of stern and savage gran-
deur in every thing around, which strongly
captivates the imagination. This savage coast
is the first glimpse of Spain which the voy-
ager from the north catches, or he who has
ploughed his way across the wide Atlantic:
and well does it seem to realize all his visions
of this strange land. " Yes," he exclaims,
" this is indeed Spain — stern, flinty Spain —
land emblematic of those spirits to which she
has given birth. From what land but that
before me could have proceeded those porten-
tous beings who astounded the Old World, and
filled the New with horror and blood: Alba,
and Philip, Cortez, and Pizarro : stern colos-
sal spectres, looming through the gloom of
by-gone years, like yonder granite mountains
through the haze, upon the eye of the mari-
ner. Yes, yonder is indeed Spain ; flinty,
indomitable Spain ; land emblematic of its
sons 1"

As for myself, when I viewed that wide
ocean and its savage shore, I cried, " Such is
the grave, and such are its terrific sides ;
those moors and wilds, over which I have
passed, are the rough and dreary journey of
life. Cheered with hope, we struggle along
through all the difficulties of moor, bog, and
mountain, to arrive at — what? The grave and
its dreary sides. Oh, may hope not desert us
in the last hour : hope in the Redeemer and
in God."

We descended from the eminence, and
i'gain lost sight of the sea amidst ravines and
dingles, amongst which patches of pine were
occasionally seen. Continuing to descend, we
at last came, not to the sea, but to the extre-
mity of a long narrow firth, where stood a vil-
lage or hamlet; whilst, at a small distance,
on the western side of the firth, appeared one
considerably larger, which was indeed almost
entitled to the appellation of town. This last
was Corcuvion ; the first, if I forget not, was
called Ria de Silla. We hastened on to Cor-
cuvion, where I bade my guide make inqui-
ries respecting Finisterra. He entered the
door of a wine-house, from which proceeded
much noise and vociferation, and presently
returned, informing me that the village of
Finisterra was distant about a league and a
half.

We passed on, and striking across a sandy
peninsula at the back of the town, soon reached
the shore of an immense bay, the north-wes-
ternmost end of which was formed by the far-
famed Cape of Finisterra, which we now saw
before us stretching far into the sea.

Along a beach of dazzling white sand, we
advanced towards the Cape, the bourn of our
journey. The sun was shining brightly, and
every object was illumined by his beams. The
sea lay before us like a vast mirror, and the
waves which broke upon the shore were so
tiny as scarcely to produce a murmur. On we
sped along the deep winding bay, overhung by
gigantic hills and mountains. Strange recol-
leciioiis began to throng upon my mind. It was
upon this beach that, according to the tradi-



284



THE FRIEM0.



lion of all ancient Christendom, the Apostle
James preached the gos[iel to the heathen
Spaniards. Upon this beach had once stood
an immense commercial city, the proudest in
Spain. This now desolate bay had once re-
sounded with the voices of myriads, when the
keels and commerce of all the then known
world were wafted to Duyo.

" What is the name of this village ?" said I
to a woman, as we passed by live or six ruin-
ous houses at the bend of the bay, ere we en-
tered upon the peninsula of Finisterra.

" This is no village," said the Gallegan,
" this is no village. Sir Cavalier, this is a city,
this is Duyo."

So much for the glory of the world ! Those
huts were all that the roaring sea and the
tooth of time had left of Duyo, the great city!
Onward now to Finisterra.

It was mid-day when we reached the village
of Finisterra, consisting of about one hundred
houses, and built on the southern side of the
l)eninsula, just before it rises into the huge
bluft'-head which is called the Cape. We
sought in vain for an inn or venta, where we
miuht stable our beast; at one moment we
thought that we had found one, and had even
tied the animal to the manger. Upon our
going out, however, he was instantly untied
and driven forth into the street. The few
people whom we saw appeared to gaze upon j
us in a singular manner. We, however, took
little notice of these circumstances, and pro-
ceeded along the straggling street until we
found shelter in the house of a Castalian shop-
keeper, whom sojne chance had brought to
this corner of Galicia, — this end of the world.
Our first care was to feed the animal, who now
began to exhibit considerable symptoms of
fatigue. We then requested some refreshment
for ourselves ; and in about an hour, a toler-
ably savoury fish, weighing about three
pounds, and fresh from the bay, was prepared
for us by an old woman who appeared to offi-
ciate as house-keeper. Having finished our
meal, I and my uncouth companion went forth
and prepared to ascend the mountain.

We stopped to examine a small dismantled
fort or battery facing the bay ; and whilst en-
gaged in this examination, it more than once
occurred to me that we were ourselves the
objects of scrutiny and investigation : indeed
I caught a glimpse of more than one coun-
tenance peering upon us through the holes and
chasms of the walls. We now commenced
ascending Finisterra ; and making numerous
and long detours, we wound our way up its
ilinty sides. The sun had reached the top of
heaven, whence he showered upon us perpen-
dicularly his brightest and fiercest rays. My
boots were torn, my feet cut, and the perspi-
ration streamed from my brow. To my
guide, however, the ascent appeared to be
neither toilsome nor difficult. The heat of
the day for him had no terrors, no moisture
was wrung from his tanned countenance ; he
drew not one short breath ; and hopped upon
the stones and rocks with all the provoking
agility of a mountain goat. Before we had
accomplished one half of the ascent, I felt
myself quite exhausted. I reeled and stag-
gered. " Cheer up, master mine, be of good



cheer, and have no care," said the guide.
"Yonder I see a wall of stones; lie down
beneath it in the shade." He put his long and
strong arm round my waist, and though his
stature, compared with mine, was that of a
dwarf, he supported me, as if I had been a
child, to a rude wall which seemed to tra-
verse the greatest part of the hill, and served
probably as a kind of boundary. It was diffi-
cult to find a shady spot : at last he perceived
a small chasm, perhaps scooped by some shep-
herd as a couch in which to enjoy his siesta.
In this he laid me gently down, and taking off
his enormous hat, commenced fanning me with
great assiduity. By degrees I revived, and
after having rested for a considerable time, I
again attempted the ascent, which, with the
assistance of my guide, I at length accom-
plished.

We were now standing at a great altitude
between two bays; the wilderness of waters
before us. Of all the ten thousand barks
which annually plough those seas in sight of
the old cape, not one was to be descried. It
was a blue shiny waste, broken by no object
save the black head of a spermaceti whale,
which would occasionally show itself at the
top, casting up thin jets of brine. The prin-
cipal bay, that of Finisterra, as far as the en-
trance, was beautifully variegated by an im-
mense shoal of sardinhas, on whose extreme
skirts the monster was probably feasting.
From the northern side of the cape, we looked
down upon a smaller bay, the shore of which
was overhung by rocks of various and gro-
tesque shapes: this is called the outer bay,
or, in the language of the country, Praia do
mar de fora ; a fearful place in seasons of
wind and tempest, when the long swell of the
Atlantic pouring in, is broken into surf and
foam by the sunken rocks with which it
abounds. Even in the calmest day, there is a
rumbling and a hollow roar in that bay, which
fills the heart with uneasy sensations. On all
sides there was grandeur and sublimity. After
gazing from the summit of the cape for nearly
an hour, we descended.

Cast-Iron Buildings. — A correspondent of
the Times says : — " Buildings of cast-iron are
daily increasing, at a prodigious rate in Eng-
land, and it appears that houses are about to
be constructed of this material. It is proposed
that the walls shall be hollow, so that the
whole house may be heated by a single stove
in the kitchen. A three-story house, contain-
ing ten or twelve rooms, will only cost about
£1000 ; and it may be taken to pieces, and
removed to another place, at an expense of
about £'25. It is understood that a large
number are about to be manufactured to be
sent to Hamburg, for those persons who have
had their habitations burnt." — Lon. Athen'm.

Notices of the effect produced on the mind of
a St. Kildean by a visit to Glasgow.
He was astonished at the length of the voy-
age, and the many great kingdoms, that is
islands, which he sailed along. " Upon his
arrival at Glasgow, he was like one that
dropped from the clouds into a new world,



(whose language, habits,
ral, tor he could not believe that men would
be at pains to beat stones into the ground to
walk upon. He stood dumb at the door of
his lodging with the greatest admiration, and
when he saw a coach and two horses, he
thought it to be a little house that they were
drawing at their tail, with men in it ; but he
condemned the coachman for a fool to sit so
uneasy, for he thought it safer on the back of
one of the horses." " When he went through
the streets, he desired to have one to lead him
by the hand. '1 homas Ross, a merchant, and ,
others that took the diversion to carry him
through the town, asked his opinion of the ,
High Church! He answered that it was a
large rock ; that there were in St. Kilda
much higher, but that these were the best
cuves they ever saw ; for that was the idea he
conceived of the pillars and arches upon which
the church stands. When they carried him
into the church, he was yet more surprised,
and held up his hands with admiration, won-
dering how it was possible for men to build
such a prodigious fabric, which he supposed
to be the largest in the universe." " He did
not think there had been so many people in
the world, as in the city of Glasgow ; and it
was a great mystery to him to think what
they could all design by living so many in one
place. He wondered how they could all be
furnished with provisions; and when he saw
big loaves, he could not tell whether they
were bread, stone, or wood. He was amazed
to think how they could be provided with ale,
for he never saw any there that drank water,
(they have no ale, beer, nor other liquors '\n
St. Kilda.)" " When he observed horses with
shoes on their feet, and fastened with iron ,
nails, he could not forbear laughing, and i
thought it the most ridiculous thing that fell ;
under his observation. He longed to see hia ]
native country again, and passionately wished ,
it were blessed with ale, brandy, and tobacco, j
(of which last they are great lovers,) and iron,
as Glasgow was."

For " The Friend."
TRl'ST IN PROVIDENCE.

" Fear not, but trust in Providence wherever Ikou mayst be."
When floods of anguish fill the soul,

And grief beyond degree,
' Fear not, but irusl in Providence,

Wherever thou mayst be.'
Wlien reason reels upon ihe throne,

Whate'er tlie cause may be,
Then fix thy IhoughUon'God alone.

And he will succour thee.
His voice can lull the raging storm,



Online LibraryRobert SmithThe Friend : a religious and literary journal (Volume 16) → online text (page 105 of 154)